Top Ten Tuesday: Book Characters I’d Like To Dress As For Halloween

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week I’m listing…

Book Characters I’d Like To Dress As For Halloween

 

 

 

Cinder

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

 

 

Emika Chen

Warcross (Warcross, #1)

 

 

Audrey Rose Wadsworth

Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #2)

 

 

Diana

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)

 

 

Alosa

Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1)

 

 

Noemi

Defy the Stars (Constellation, #1)

 

 

Lilac LaRoux

These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)

 

 

a Truthwitch

Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)

 

 

Elizabeth Bennett from P&P&Z

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, #1)

 

 

Elle

Geekerella

 

Who do you like to dress as for Halloween? Any additions/deletions to my list? Let me know!

sara-signature1

Advertisements

Review: Lucky in Love

Lucky in Love

 

 

It is no secret that I adore Kasie West. She is another instabuy/instaread author for me. I couldn’t wait to read this story! Sadly, it was not the best West story I have read but it was sweet.

Short recap: Maddie has her life planned out. She is going to continue studying hard to get into the college of her dreams, get a grant/scholarship to attend, and stay close enough to home to take care of her parents. Absolutely no boys in that equation. Sounds like a good plan until Maddie lets reality in that money is very tight since her father isn’t working and her mom is working double shifts at the hospital. Everything changes for Maddie when she buys a lottery ticket on her 18th birthday and wins millions of dollars! Maddie is going to learn first hand if money really can solve all of her problems.

West is known for her super sweet romancy contemps but I feel the romance was missing from this story. It was sweet… but it felt the focus of the story was more around Maddie waiting for a college acceptance letter and how to spend stupid amount sof money on crap that isn’t needed. $1,000 on jeans? Are you on drugs, Maddie? Sure, discovering how to live life after winning $50 million dollars would be an adjustment but it wasn’t handled well in this story. That isn’t a terrible topic because we all – at some point – have played the “What would you do if you won the lottery?” question. I also think I might have liked this more if Maddie wasn’t such a damn pushover. She was so gullible and naive it was maddening. After she won the lottery she struggled to tell her best friends. These are her ride or die friends. These are the girls she has spent nearly every waking moment with. These are the girls who she has made a pact with to not date boys until college. If you cannot trust your bestest ride or die friends, then they really aren’t that good of friends, right? That’s my belief anyways. I don’t like how Maddie immediately thought those friends would treat her differently. They were her only true friends and she treated them like crap. I also did not like how Maddie thought the cool and popular girl in school suddenly wanted to be her BFF was natural. Give me a break. Anyone with a set of eyes could see that girl was using Maddie for her new found millions.

Maddie’s family was also annoying as all get out. Her brother dropped out of college, her dad refused to take a job for fear “it was beneath him”, and her mom complained all the time about having to work so much. Maddie wanted to make everyone happy so she gave them $1 million each. Honey, money does not solve problems. It just felt like Maddie was a crutch for everyone in her immediate family – again, she was being used yet she was too blind to see any of it. Instead, she thought it was a brilliant idea to buy a $100k sports car… at the age of 18. Give me a break.

Remember how I said this was supposed to be a romance story? That felt like it was just a tiny part of the story. Seth was the boy Maddie worked with at the zoo and really liked. He was the love interest and he felt like an afterthought. Too much of the story focused on everything but the budding romance with Seth. I wanted the romance between these two characters to start but nothing really took off until the very end of the story. Until then, I was subjected to Maddie spending money on a yacht party, a total makeover, and talking even more about money.

I wanted to like this more than I did. It was a good concept for a story but I don’t think it was delivered well. The plot is very predictable so don’t go into this unsure of how it will end because it is obvious. Maddie’s true friends and Seth are the shinning stars of this story but they have small parts so enjoy them when they do show up. This is a super fast read still feels like a Kasie West story, but it is not her best story to date.

 

sara-signature1

Books Left Unread #100

Wallpaper-Books

Books Left Unread

Welcome to my blog post where I talk about the books I have been meaning to read, but just have not yet. You know what I am talking about – the books that have remained unread for various reasons yet when you see them you think, “You know, I really need to read that.” Instead you get distracted by another book, series, or something in your TBR pile. It happens to the best of us. I want to spotlight those books in the hope that I can persuade myself to move them up on my TBR list.

This week’s post is dedicated to:

The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne

The Wrong Side of Right

 

I honestly have no good reason for not reading this yet. It is still sitting on my shelf looking all pretty with that cover but I haven’t started it yet. 😦 Have you read it? What did you think?

sara-signature1

Review: Trusting You and Other Lies

Trusting You And Other Lies

 

I was hesitant to start this as contemporaries can be hit or miss, but I absolutely adore the narrator (Jorjeana Marie). I will listen to anything she narrates without question. The narrator is the only reason I finished. There was nothing original or exciting about this story. It is exactly what you think it will be.

Short recap: Phoenix is tired of her parents always lying to her and their constant emotional neglect. She knows they are about to lose their house since her dad won’t work and her mom is exhausted from working too much. Her family is given a free trip to vacation at Camp Kismet and it is the one time Phoenix allows herself to be a teenager without worrying so much about her family. Little does she know that an attractive boy, Callum, will find his way into her life. Can everything work out for Phoenix and her family?

This is a quick, lightweight read. There are no serious tones or heavy subjects. It is about a teen that is tired of her parents trying to shield her from the cold hard reality that is real life. What I couldn’t really understand is why Phoenix, a teenager still in high school, felt the need to harp at her parents so much about their adult problems. Sure, most teens would be worried about their parents if they had a close bond but that wasn’t the case here. Phoenix felt like she was trying to be the adult and lecture her parents. Last time I checked the parents were still the ones in charge, not the kids. They really did let their daughter get away with treating them horribly and I never understood why. There are a lot of supporting characters but none of them stood out to me. They all felt one-dimensional. Nothing memorable to write home about with them.

The story will end exactly how you think it will end. The plot is not complicated so don’t put too much emotional stock into the story. The characters try to make you believe they really did develop and grow up over the course of the story but it all felt too perfect… just too easy. You want me to believe that a family with that much emotional baggage and issues can fix everything over the course of a couple of weeks at camp? Get out of here.

I’m not upset I read this story, I’m glad I checked it off of my TBR. I am slightly jaded at how simple and too perfect the ending was. It felt like Williams was trying to wrap everything up in a pretty bow by the last page. She was selling and I didn’t buy. I can’t say I recommend this to anyone unless they are looking for something easy to read that doesn’t require too much involvement.

 

sara-signature1

 

Review: American Street

American Street

 

I had heard this was a book to be on the lookout for but I was not prepared for what I read. This blew me away. Even the magical realism portion of the story was tolerable, and that is a lot coming from me.

Short recap: Fabiola is American born, but her mom is a Haitian immigrant. Both have just landed in US. They are on their way to Fabiola’s aunt’s house in Detroit when Immigration detains her mom. Fabiola is free to go to Detroit but her mom is forced to stay behind with the promise of being sent back to Haiti. Fabiola promises to do whatever it takes to get her mom free.

This is not just a story of immigration and the struggle to free a parent from the US Government, it is a story of being true to yourself, doing what is right, and having faith in what you believe. It is full of emotion, raw grit, and intensely diverse characters. All in all, it is a very different story than what you think it will be.

The story is told primarily from Fabiola’s POV. Immediately I sympathized with her. My heart went out to her and her struggle. What she thought was going to be a freeing and eye opening experience living in the US turns out to be a nightmare that she never expected. She wanted and needed the guidance of her mother but had to settle for her Aunt Jo and cousins: Chantal, Princess (Pri), and Primadonna (Donna). Knowing this story is set in Detroit gave me the instant impression that life would not be easy for Fabiola and her cousins. I was all too right. Detroit is tough enough as it is, throwing a new girl fresh off of the boat into gang infested streets was terrifying for me to read. I was nervous for her the entire time. Listening to the “advice” of her cousins gave me anxiety. Fabiola’s cousins had bad reputations in school so they weren’t exactly great role models. I have to admit that the diverse and complex characters drove this story. They all had such a unique voice that helped move the story along.

While this is a realistic fiction/magical realism story, it was still wonderfully written and the story worked. The way Zoboi included Fabiola’s Haitian Vodou faith was brilliant. There were several references to Papa Legba, a huge symbol in Haitian Vodou, and it felt right. It gave me the sense that this story was trying very hard to stay true to Haitian roots.

I strongly believe this is an important and necessary story. As I mentioned, this was a character driven story. Zoboi portrayed so many aspects of immigrant experiences. She does not write a fluffy story of how everything is puppies, kittens, and rainbows for Fabiola, she wrote a story of suffering and challenge. She included slut-shaming, a new love interest, internal struggles of right & wrong, and a LGBT romance. On top of that, drug abuse, violent abuse, gangs, and betrayal were included. I really believe this story had it all.

I really do want everyone to read this. Know it might not be an easy story to get through but it is written so well that you might kick yourself or not reading it sooner. Please, add this to your TBR and give it a read. Or try the audiobook as the narrator is brilliant.

 

sara-signature1

 

 

 

DNF Review: Children of Eden

Children of Eden (Children of Eden, #1)

 

I know a lot of vloggers are getting into the writing business and I am one of those readers/bloggers that has some issue with that. There are writers that work their butts off for years to get published, but someone that is popular on YouTube suddenly has the knowledge to write a book AND get it published? Please forgive me if I’m not jumping out of my chair to buy their book. I also know there is a LOT of controversy around this particular book because the guy probably didn’t write it himself but the ghostwriter isn’t credited. That doesn’t sit well with me either. But those (massive) points aside, I gave this a try. I went in with low expectations and I was still disappointed.

Short recap: If you have read one dystopian, you’ve read this story line. Rowan is an illegal “second child”. She and her family live in Eden where there is a strict one child law. Her parents feel they are beyond the law and kept her hidden away for sixteen years. She sneaks out one night in an act of rebellion and soon becomes addicted to the sights and sounds of Eden… until things go wrong.

There are so many reasons I DNFd this:

  • Unoriginal storyline
  • Far too much time was spent on world building and not enough time on character development
  • Rowan, the MC, was badly, badly written
  • Odd writing style
  • INSTALOVE

Let’s expand on these topics, shall we?

Unoriginal storyline. This felt like nearly every other dystopian I have read and know that I have read a great majority of them. Rowan and her family live in a time when the world has died because of what Man did almost 200 years before. It simply cannot support a large population anymore so a select group have been chosen to live in Eden, a city that is self-sustaining.  Everything is controlled – including the population. Adults are only permitted to have one child. In the case of twins, one is either terminated before birth or after. Pretty straight forward but nothing original at all. It continued this way for a major of the story I read. There was just a massive info dump about everything that goes into keeping Eden running – including what happens to people’s bodily waste. Are you serious. That is totally unnecessary, must like the exact details given in this story.

Far too much time was spent on world building and not enough time on character development. There really was a massive info dump about Eden, the place these characters are living but that was it. There was almost no character development from any character. How am I supposed to connect with anyone if I don’t know anything about them? I didn’t know their likes, dislikes, thoughts, feelings, emotions, nada. These characters felt completely devoid of all emotions. The author (or ghostwriter?) could have put robots in place of the people and the end result would have been the same.

Rowan, the MC, was badly, badly written now. Rowan was supposed to be the protagonist but I felt like I didn’t know anything about her. I knew she was the second twin and apparently very illegal. She was living a secret life stuck behind the walls of her house. She was still educated and had a strict physical regime but that was about it. In regards to her personally, she was a self-centered, shallow, whiny, naive brat that I would never, ever want to be friends with. I also knew that she had zero issues with putting her family at risk by sneaking out of the house. Again, are you serious. Her family put everything on the line to keep her alive and safe but she doesn’t think that’s a big deal so she starts sneaking out of the house. Give me a break. I couldn’t wrap my head around why she was the protagonist. She didn’t feel like she was standing up to anything, instead she was ungrateful and unappreciative for what her family sacrificed to keep her safe.

Odd writing style. The writing just was not good. It felt choppy and unvetted, as if it still hadn’t be put through the editing process. Example: Rowan must have had an undiagnosed mental issue or something because her emotions were all over the charts. She could be happy and content one moment, then in the blink of an eye she became super restless and demanding. I almost had whiplash from the back and forth. And should we mention the made up cuss words? Stop doing that. When Rowan became flustered she would say “bik” or something equally stupid. Uh.. huh? How was I supposed to know that was an action of frustration and not her having a tourettes moment? The author (or ghostwriter?) would spend a lot of time (again) talking about the layout of Eden, only to talk about how the streets are supposed to light up for residents but they don’t for Rowan, and then jumps back to talking about the wasteland outside of the city walls. The things that needed expanding were ignored and the things that didn’t matter were given more info than what I knew what to do with.

Instalove. My most disliked topic. When Rowan snuck out of her house and wandered the streets of Eden, she found a way to run into a girl at her brother’s school that she is obsessed with. She had never met this girl before but was hard core upset when her brother wouldn’t give her every single detail of what the girl was wearing. She threw a fit and stayed mad for hours because her brother didn’t know what shade of yellow the girl was wearing. Rowan was hung up on that detail for a long time, “Was it butterscotch or warm yellow? Why couldn’t he remember?!WHO CARES. Those kind of details meant nothing but Rowan was hung up on this. She became even more stalker-obsessed after running into the girl at a club she wasn’t supposed to be at. I didn’t like the girl (can’t even remember her name) and never understood the instalove connection.

I am always game for a good dystopian story but this was certainly not it. Maybe it was just lost in translation for me but I did not like any moment of this story. The concept itself was an interesting idea but it was not delivered well at all. This is one of those stories where I am kicking myself for even starting. My gut told me to stay away but I didn’t listen and I paid for it. 1.5 hours of my life I won’t ever get back.

 

sara-signature1

 

Waiting on Wednesday: The Becoming of Noah Shaw

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

 

The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin

The Becoming of Noah Shaw (The Shaw Confessions, #1)

 

 

From Goodreads:

In the first book of the Shaw Confessions, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, old skeletons are laid bare and new promises prove deadly. This is what happens after happily ever after.

Everyone thinks seventeen-year-old Noah Shaw has the world on a string.

They’re wrong.

Mara Dyer is the only one he trusts with his secrets and his future.

He shouldn’t.

And both are scared that uncovering the truth about themselves will force them apart.

They’re right.

 

Is this on your radar? Did you read The Becoming of Maya Dryer? What did you think?

sara-signature1